Psychology Post-doctoral Fellowship - Neuropsychology
Introduction to the Psychology Post-doctoral Fellowship - Neuropsychology
The postdoctoral training program in pediatric neuropsychology is conducted under the auspices of the Department of Psychology, Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Division of Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine. The training program is a member of the Association for Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN) and is designed to meet the criteria set forth by the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology.
The training program is intended to provide clinical training to produce an advanced level of competence in the specialty of clinical neuropsychology and is specifically geared toward producing independent practitioner level competence, which includes both clinical and research skills. The goal is to prepare the fellow for a career as a scientist-practitioner in pediatric neuropsychology, preferably through hospital-based practice in a medical school setting, and to prepare graduates for board certification through ABPP/ABCN.
The primary training site is Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide Children’s houses the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine. The hospital is one of the largest pediatric facilities in the United States. It is certified as a Level I trauma center and serves as the major pediatric referral center for central Ohio, with a catchment area that extends into West Virginia and Kentucky. The Emergency Department is one of the busiest pediatric emergency facilities in the United States. The hospital serves many children with severe traumatic brain injuries each year. Post-acute care is often provided at the hospital's CARF-accredited Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.
The Division of Psychology includes 27 psychologists who all hold academic appointments in the Department of Pediatrics in the OSU College of Medicine and Public Health. Five of the faculty are neuropsychologists, two of whom are board-certified by ABPP/ABCN. The division provides a wide array of inpatient and outpatient clinical services and also supports active research programs. The division houses a predoctoral internship in professional psychology with tracks in pediatric psychology and pediatric neuropsychology that is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The division also supports a variety of postdoctoral training positions, including fellowships in pediatric neuropsychology and pediatric health psychology. The division also is involved in training graduate practicum students from several local graduate programs.
The program covers a period of 2 years and consists of clinical, research and educational activities. Approximately 60 percent of the fellow's time is devoted to clinical service and supervision, 20-30 percent to educational activities, and 10-20 percent to research activity.
The clinical training component of the pediatric neuropsychology fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital is structured around three core areas of (1) Neuropsychological Evaluation, (2) Neuropsychological Consultation, and (3) Neuropsychological Intervention. Experiences are obtained in each of these three core areas across both years of the fellowship.
Neuropsychological Evaluation: Fellows receive supervised experience in conducting neuropsychological evaluations of both inpatient and outpatient populations. On average, the fellows conduct 2 to 3 evaluations per week.
Traditional Outpatient Evaluation (approx. 1 per week): Comprehensive evaluations of pediatric (elementary through college age) populations with central nervous system illness or injury. Referral diagnoses include Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Tumor, Leukemia, Genetic disorders, Congenital disorders, Craniofacial Disorders and other Neurological disorders. Fellows also participate in the multi-disciplinary Epilepsy Surgery Team, which includes pre-surgical evaluation, cortical mapping and presentation of results to the surgical team.
Specialized Outpatient evaluations (approx. 1 per week):
Preschool Neuropsychological Evaluations: Neurodevelopmental evaluations of infants and children with Central Nervous System illness or injury. Referral diagnoses include prematurity/low Birthweight, Congenital Cardiac conditions, epilepsy, etc.
Concussion Evaluations: Targeted evaluations of persisting post-concussive symptoms, including emotional, cognitive and physical symptoms.
Inpatient Evaluations: Fellows gain experience conducting inpatient neuropsychological evaluations on the CARF accredited inpatient rehabilitation unit. Fellows occasionally may also conduct brief inpatient evaluations with patients referred from other units including Neurosciences, Hematology/Oncology and Cardiology.
Inpatient Consultation: In addition to direct examinations of patients, the fellows also provide consultative services to medical teams on the inpatient rehabilitation unit and the inpatient neurosciences unit. These services may include behavior management of children recovering from traumatic brain injuries, brief therapeutic services for patients and families coping with injuries, and consultation with patients presenting with non-epileptic seizures or conversion disorders.
Outpatient Medical Clinics (two to three per week): The training program provides experience in interdisciplinary clinical services. The fellows will regularly attend weekly interdisciplinary rounds on the inpatient Rehabilitation Unit and will also participate in medical clinics on a weekly basis (e.g., Myelomeningocele Clinic, Rehabilitation Clinic, Stroke Clinic, Concussion Clinic and Epilepsy Clinic)
Neuropsychological Intervention: The Concussion Symptom Treatment program is designed to be a short-term treatment program to target concussion symptoms and related stressors. Treatment may include activity scheduling, cognitive behavioral therapy, development of stress coping skills, pain management strategies, relaxation training, biofeedback, and education about concussion symptoms and stress. The program is designed for children and adolescents during the post-acute period (i.e. 4-6 weeks post injury) up to 6-10 months post-concussion whose symptoms are not resolving as expected.
The fellowship program includes two training tracks: 1. General Track and 2. mTBI/Concussion track. There are two General Track fellows and one mTBI/Concussion fellow. Both tracks are part of the APPCN member fellowship program. Fellows on both tracks participate in the same didactic experiences, and all fellows are required to participate in research. The distinction between each track is based on the clinical experiences as outlined below:
General Track: Fellows on the general track receive a breadth of clinical experiences from each of the areas detailed above under Clinical Training. This includes general outpatient neuropsychological assessment, neuropsychological consultation and neuropsychological intervention. General track fellows do receive clinical experiences with mTBI/concussion but not at the same intensity as fellows on the mTBI/concussion track. On any given week, the general track fellows will complete one traditional outpatient neuropsychological evaluation, one in-patient neuropsychological evaluation and/or one specialized outpatient evaluation (i.e. preschool or concussion eval), two medical clinics and one to two concussion treatment cases.
mTBI/Concussion Track: Fellows on the mTBI/concussion track also receive a breadth of training in clinical neuropsychology but with a more in-depth emphasis on children and adolescents with mTBI/concussion. The mTBI/concussion fellow completes one traditional outpatient neuropsychological evaluation per week to provide a broad exposure to clinical populations (e.g., epilepsy, hem/onc, etc). The mTBI/concussion fellow also completes two pre-school evaluations per month to provide a broad exposure to younger populations. An emphasis in mTBI/concussion is obtained by participating in one to two concussion clinics per week, at least two concussion evaluations per month, and a case load of at least 4 concussion treatment cases. The mTBI/concussion fellow also gains experiences across the TBI spectrum by providing backup to the general fellows on the inpatient rehabilitation unit.
The fellow is expected to have taken formal courses in research methods and statistics and to have completed an empirical dissertation during their graduate training. Research activities in the postdoctoral training program consist primarily of research collaboration with faculty in the Department of Psychology. The collaboration usually involves ongoing research programs, but can also involve initiation of an independent research project. In either case, the fellow is encouraged to participate in all steps of the research process.
The fellow will ordinarily plan a research project in the field of pediatric neuropsychology by the end of the first year of the training program. The fellow also will be expected to submit at least one conference abstract. Fellows intending to pursue academic careers will be encouraged to prepare additional research papers for publication. The Department of Psychology will provide limited support for attendance at professional meetings.
Didactic experiences in the postdoctoral training program are both formal and informal. Required activities include a weekly Neuropsychology Seminar, twice monthly group supervision/case conference, Epilepsy Surgery conference, twice monthly Neuroradiology Conference, and a monthly psychology department fellowship seminar. Optional opportunities include Tumor Board, Neuro-Oncology Rounds and Grand Rounds.
Fellows also will be expected to complete readings in clinical neuropsychology, especially as they pertain to pediatric populations. Readings will be chosen for each Fellow in consultation with neuropsychology faculty. Additional didactic and experiential activities will be designed to meet the criteria set forth by the Houston Conference, as stipulated by APPCN.
Finally, the fellow also takes part in the clinical teaching duties of the Psychology Division as appropriate. During the second year of the training program, when the fellow is ordinarily preparing to obtain licensure as a psychologist in the State of Ohio, these duties will include clinical supervision of first-year postdoctoral neuropsychology fellows and of predoctoral psychology interns. Fellows also are involved in providing some training fellows in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics.
Supervision and Evaluation
The postdoctoral training program is directed by Doug Bodin, PhD, ABPP/CN. Supervisory faculty in the Pediatric Neuropsychology Program also include Jennifer Cass, PhD., ABPP/CN; Maria Goldman, Psy.D.; Christine Koterba, Ph.D.; and Kelly McNally, Ph.D. Supervision of in-patient consults on the rehabilitation and neurosciences units is provided by Kristen Trott, Ph.D., pediatric psychologist.
Dr. Bodin is responsible for all the activities of the fellow. He conducts annual evaluations of the fellow's progress, in conjunction with the neuropsychology faculty. Dr. Bodin provides an annual written summary of the Pediatric Neuropsychology Program faculty's evaluation to the fellow and to the Director of the Division of Psychology.
Continuation beyond the first year of the fellowship is determined by the Pediatric Neuropsychology Program faculty and the other members of the Psychology Department. The fellowship shall ordinarily continue into a second year, although the final decision shall depend on the fellow's progress and accomplishments during the first 8 months.